The Kerala CPI (M) leadership has reportedly asked the state government to amend the affidavit on Naxal leader Varghese, in which the government told the High court that he is a hardcore criminal.
The home department made the submission in an affidavit filed on July 22, 2016. The affidavit was submitted in response to a writ petition filed by brothers and sisters of Varghese seeking compensation. It said that Varghese tried to attack the police and was shot dead by cops in an encounter in Thirunelli forest in 1970.
The Times of India reports that CPI (M) state committee had raised the issue on Sunday and party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had reportedly clarified to the members that the affidavit was not the government’s official stance. He was leant to have said that in July 2016, the government had forwarded the affidavit prepared by the previous UDF government.
Many believed that the submission by the government could create ripples in the ruling Left Democratic Front for the Left's known stand of not hunting the Naxals and not considering them as criminals. The CPI was also apparently irked by the new development.
Moreover, in 1970, CPI (M) had taken a strong stand against Varghese’s death. Then Thalassery MP MP Patyam Gopalan had raised the issue in Lok Sabha saying how police had killed a young revolutionary.
The CBI took over the investigation into Varghese’s death on a directive from the High Court in 1999. The probe was ordered following revelations by a former police constable P Ramachandran Nair. He had revealed that he shot dead Varghese on the orders of then Superintendent of Police Vijayan and Deputy Superintendent of Police Lakshmana in 1970.
A CBI special court in 2010 awarded life imprisonment to Lakshmana. He was later given remission by the state.